Plaintiff suffers hemiparesis after revision back surgery. $1.7M. Ventura County.

Summary

Cervical herniation occurs during lumbar surgery; delay in surgical treatment is said to cause hemiparesis.

The Case

  • Case Name: Tannia Delapaz v. Roe Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Court and Case Number: Ventura County Superior Court / 56-2015-00467870-CU-MM-VTA
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, December 19, 2019
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, May 14, 2015
  • Type of Action: Medical Malpractice
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Henry Walsh
  • Plaintiffs:
    Tannia Delapaz, 39.
  • Defendants:
    Roe Orthopedic Surgeon
    Roe Orthopedic Surgeon's Spinal Center
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $1,728,016
  • Net Verdict or Award: $2,149,016
  • Economic Damages:

    $1,228,016

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    $500,000

  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Approximately $421,000 additional to plaintiff in CCP 998.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Levitt Leichenger & Aberle LLP by Daniel A. Spitzer and David B. Leichenger, Beverly Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Reback McAndrews Blessey by Thomas McAndrews, Manhattan Beach.

    Taylor DeMarco LLP by N. Denise Taylor, Los Angeles.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Sylvain Palmer, M.D., neurosurgery, Mission Viejo.

    Michael Gold, M.D., neurology.

    David Patterson, M.D., physiatry, Pomona.

    Judy Ho, Ph.D., neuropsychology.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Lawrence Shuer, M.D., neurosurgery, Stanford.

    Andrew Woo, M.D., neurology, Santa Monica.

    Suzy Kim, M.D., physiatry.

    Kyle Boone, Ph.D., neuropsychology, Torrance.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    David Fractor, Ph.D., economics.

    Anne Barnes, RN, life care planning.

    Enrique Vega, vocational rehabilitation. 

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff went in for a revision lumbar microdiscectomy. While patient was under general anesthesia, her C5-C6 became herniated. Defendant surgeon did not perform decompression for almost four days.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant surgeon violated the standard of care by not performing decompression surgery on plaintiff's cervical spine within 24 hours, resulting in significant residuals.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That the requirement to operate was not emergent, so the delay was acceptable; that it would have made no difference if she was operated on sooner (causation); that much of the injury was pre-existing due to a prior lumbar condition, and that plaintiff was fabricating her symptoms for attention and acceptance. 

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Left-side hemiparesis.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,000,000

Additional Notes

Defendant made no offers.

Disclaimer

This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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